Credit Mix Up – How To Tell If Someone Else Is Showing Up On Your Credit Report
When you check your credit reports, you should review all of the sections:
Public Records (bankruptcies, judgments, tax liens, sometimes criminal history)
Accounts (do you recognize creditors, do the numbers/payment history match your accounts)
Personal Information (name, addresses, date of birth, Social Security number)
Inquiries (list of companies that have reviewed your credit, places you have applied for credit)
If you see multiple Social Security numbers or dates of birth listed, that should be a red flag that someone else’s information is listed on your credit report. You should also check all of the addresses to make sure you lived or received mail at each of them. If you see addresses from another state where you’ve never lived, and accounts that you never opened listing on your report, then someone else’s credit history may be listed on your report, or you may be the victim of identity theft.
“Mixed” reports are what people refer to when the credit history for two or more people are showing on one credit report. If there are accounts listed that were opened before you turned 18 (and you did not open them), or a bankruptcy or judgment is listed from before you turned 18, chances are your report is mixed with someone else. If you see public records or accounts listing on your report that are not yours, and you also see personal information (names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth) that are not yours listed on the report, then it may be mixed. If you see accounts that were recently opened, and a lot of recent inquiries that you do not recognize, then you might be the victim of identity theft or fraud – someone is opening, or trying to open, accounts using personal information. It may be hard to tell what has happened, but either way only information about you should be listed on your credit reports.
If you find incorrect information, you should dispute all errors directly with the credit reporting agency. Check out our Credit Report Dispute Kit. You can also find sample dispute letters here, and we recommend that you dispute in writing with delivery confirmation – saving a copy of your dispute letters and proof of delivery for your records. Where “mixed files” can vary from one credit report to another, it is important that you write a separate dispute letter for each credit reporting agency – identifying only the inaccurate information listing in that particular report. If you see someone else’s personal information or accounts listed on your credit reports, you can contact us for a free consultation to review your rights under state and federal credit reporting laws.